124.743/8–549: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Legation in Bulgaria

top secret

282. Considerations you have advanced re Shipkov have recd Dept’s careful attention (ur 658 Aug 51). In examining alternative solutions Dept has felt parallel cannot be drawn between present Shipkov problem and sanctuary granted agrarian leader G. M. Dimitrov in 1945 since latter clear case polit asylum while current instance finds Dept seeking means to save life loyal alien administrative employee having no polit party affiliations.

Any effort now to link Shipkov departure to negots for reciprocal deblocking of funds might well overweight our expectations from such agreement, especially in light concrete requests for equitable housing and staffing arrangements. You are, of course, best position judge magnitude and variety concessions obtainable through deblocking agreement. Dept inclined to think, however, Shipkov case currently not easily linked to it following death Secoulov which may induce Bulgs to regard departure request as polit question.

Dept understands Shipkov had ways and means previously available for his departure from country but unwilling to leave family behind. In light current developments has Shipkov revised his thinking? If so, wife might not be molested. Her employment as ur housekeeper, while not guarantee of her safety, might provide sufficient time and opportunity to permit her eventual departure with daughter.

Alternatively Shipkov’s departure cld be broached directly to FonOff linking it at first stage with passing ref to reports re Secoulov. Subsequently idea cld be extended that if Shipkovs granted departure permits US wld not press Secoulov affair. However, for obvious reasons US unable to make flat pledge not to mention it publicly under any circumstances. If you think helpful, you might add Shipkov being transferred in routine assignment.

Proposal both Shipkovs be ur domestics may be reexamined following receipt ur comment upon foregoing. Dept not inclined approve such step which, as you indicate, almost certainly wld lead to further [Page 344] difficulties with Bulg Govt, possible violent incidents, and additional restrictions on Leg.

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